Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

January 28, 2014

Woman remembers the night that the B-52 bomber crashed

Jan. 13, 1964, is a night I cannot forget.

Jack and I were up early sometime between 3 and 4 a.m.

 We had a heavy snowstorm and he had to get to LaVale to plow snow for Braddock Motor Inn, now Henry Gehauf’s, and Albert’s Supermarket, where he worked as a meat cutter.

We heard an extremely loud plane fly over our house. The thing was immense. It was very low, almost touching the treetops coming over Jackson Mountain below the power lines between the end of Detmold and entering Nikep.

We could see it out our kitchen window, which faces Georges Creek and the Mountain.

Jack said “He better pull up, because he is heading for Savage Mountain, and if he stays this low he will never make it.”

It wasn’t much later when we heard a loud explosion and the whole sky lit up red. We thought Allegany Ballistics blew up.

The phone rang a while later. Jack said he had been called out for duty. He was with the Army Reserves MPs stationed at the VFW in Lonaconing. They were called out to watch over the remains of the plane.

It was late that night when he got home. He did talk to one of the pilots in the hospital, I don’t remember which one, who told him the wind currents on Savage Mountain are very treacherous.

It is hard to believe it’s been 50 years since the crash. Jack has been gone for 38 years, but he knew Savage Mountain like the back of his hand.

Jean A. Moore

Westernport

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